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strapping wall screen

bonai | Posted in General Questions on

Hi there, 

I will be doing the rain screen on my new house, this is a first for me. Planning to use 1″x4″x8″ furring strips, is it important that I screw these on the walls studs (framed at 16oc) and respect the 16oc? or can I screw the strips in the 3/4″OSB and respect a 16oc pattern?

I have seen a lot of people doing pilot holes on the strips, how crucial is this step?


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  1. andy_ | | #1

    I've only done a couple rainscreens, so...
    First, what kind of siding? Horizontal cementitious kinda stuff? Vertical board and batten?
    Second, do you have foam or rockwool on the outside? or just sheathing?
    Third, will this be visible, or completely covered by the siding?
    Assuming horizontal, then yeah sticking to the studs is the best method. The pilot holes are just to keep the screws from splitting the 1x4s. Ring shank siding nails with a blunter tip might be enough to prevent splitting.
    When I've done it I considered the 1x material but since I didn't have exterior insulation and figured that 3/4" would be too thick and mess with the trim details. I just used 3/8" plywood strips, so less (if any) splitting concerns.

  2. bonai | | #2


    I will be using 1 1/2 GPS foam from Silverboard and James hardie plank siding, horizontal and fully covering the house. One balcony will have James hardie panels with vertical batons at 16oc.

    I will try my best to drill into the studs, but sounds like if I hit the OSB it will not be a catastrophic mistake.


  3. Robert Opaluch | | #3

    Typically, 1x strapping (3/4" thick) would not meet the requirements for a nail base for siding. Depending upon the manufacturer, you have to nail into a wood support 1.25" or 1.5" depth (typically the wall studs). See Hardie's various requirements here:

    If you don't follow the stated requirements of the manufacturer, you likely would lose your warranty protection, and likely be violating building code (what matters is whatever the local building dept and inspector requires).

    1. Expert Member


      James Hardie has details for installing hardiboad over 3/4" furring strips. They call for using a 1x4, with two nails instead of one. I'll see if I can dig it up.

      Otherwise, yes, I believe it also requires (and is good practice) that they be attached to the stud.

  4. Expert Member


    Our code allows the furring to miss the studs as long as the sheathing is 1/2" thick or more, and practically, using ring shank nails they are fine.

    A rain-screen with 3/4" sheathing and furring yields the 1 1/2" backing required by some siding manufacturers.

    You want to stick to the 16" oc spacing so the your siding joints end up on or near one of the strips to eliminate or reduce waste and cutting.

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